Oregon MBA students throw their O at the ACG Cup competition

Ducks Tackle ACG Cup

After two rounds of competition, the University of Oregon team ties for second with University of Washington in the 2018 ACG Cup Northwest competition.

The ACG Cup Northwest is a relatively new competition among top universities in the Pacific Northwest: It is only in its second year. But nationwide, ACG Cup case competitions have been a bragging right for business schools for the past decade in major metro markets.

Every year, investment-banking firm Houlihan Lokey in Los Angeles writes a case study of a real-world business challenge that all teams nationwide compete to find solutions for. After the teams analyze the case and agree on a course of action, the students present to a panel of successful corporate executives in the field of finance. Students can be MBA, master's of finance, and/or undergraduate finance majors. The 2018 ACG Cup Northwest offered cash prizes up to $14,000. Nationwide, ACG Global awards more than $200,000 annually in scholarships and awards as part to the competition.

The University of Oregon team this year consisted of MBA students Tammy Whalen, Jed Womack, Brett Arias, and Aaron Gillette. The team first presented their analysis and recommendation on the Houlihan Lokey case on February 16 against all schools in Oregon. The UO then advanced to the finals round (along with a team from Oregon State University) to compete against the top teams from Washington. March 1 was the finals round, which saw the University of Oregon and University of Washington teams tie for second. Oregon State University won the 2018 ACG Cup Northwest.

“The UO's Lundquist College of Business is excited to be part of the ACG Cup Northwest. These sorts of experiential activities help students apply their classroom knowledge and interact with industry professionals in a very realistic setting," said Michele Henney, Program Manager, Cameron Center for Finance and Securities Analysis at the University of Oregon's Lundquist College of Business.

This year's ACG Cup case challenged students to find a solution for a finance-related case focused on mergers and acquisitions and private equity. The case focused on Bulletproof Armor Systems (BAS), seeking advice on whether being bought by a private equity firm, merging with a competitor, or staying put would maximize shareholder wealth.

“The UO team is battle-tested, with this being their third case competition. Additionally, two members of the team—Tammy and Jed—competed for the UO last year in the ACG Cup. Their poise, command of the material, and ability to think on their feet really showed. I am very proud of them," said Henney.

The ACG Cup was just one recent competition for the college's finance students. A second team of UO students bested 10 teams from top Pacific Northwest universities in the CFA Society's regional investment research challenge. That team--consisting of MS in finance student Tong Min Kim and undergraduate finance students Andy Rollo and Devin Au—will next head to Boston on March 19 to compete to represent the U.S. in Kuala Lumpur in April in the CFA Institute's Global Research Challenge.

The college's finance curriculum is CFA Institute recognized. Fewer than 150 universities worldwide are included on this exclusive list.